Your New Aberdeen Public Library Answers

Is the new library going to be the same size as the current library? The new library will have over 28,000 square feet of usable indoor and outdoor space. The current library is about 15,000 on the main floor, most all of which is jammed packed. The basement is about the same square footage, however only about 6,000 square feet is usable for library programming. The new library will be all on one floor so there will be no wasted space for stairwells or duplicitous utilities.

Is the new library a waste of money? No. The new library will be like the aquatics center, the downtown Streetscape, the YMCA, Swisher Field, the ARCC, and the Police Station, which are all recent additions to our city that have helped attract new companies and residents to town. Even if the new library is not built, your taxes will not be reduced, nor will you receive a refund. It is being funded with existing sales tax revue which is continually coming into the city. The new library, along with these other successes, contributes to a progressive quality of life for everyone living in the Aberdeen area. Anything that enhances our quality of life and educational opportunities is not a waste of money, especially when it’s funded with existing tax revenue. Read how our library is used.

What’s wrong with our current library? The current library has no more room to grow. It was not designed for computers and now we have no room to add more. The bathrooms are not ADA compliant, restricting access to some. There is no more room to add materials. In fact, our collection has been kept artificially low due to insufficient space to house everything required for a growing community. Our library offerings are less per capita when compared to other South Dakota towns. This is due to usable space, layout, and infrastructure. Plus, flooding from the roof, the windows and the basement may jeopardize the investment in our collection and non-replaceable historic ephemera and books…Read More

In the age of technology, why do we even need libraries?  Just because books and documents are offered online, that does not mean they will be free or that a person would be able to access the whole thing. Along with that, access to the internet is not always free. There are many people who do not have internet in their home and go to the library to pay their bills, shop online, or just check out their Facebook. The library is also more than just books, offer different classes, access to clubs, and many other things that the internet cannot offer… Watch this video to learn more

When do we get to vote on the library? There is no vote required to build the new library. The public can refer the decision to a public vote after the city council agrees to build the new library. The city council cannot bring the decision to a public vote.

When will the new library be built? The new library is scheduled to break ground in 2016 and will probably open in the spring of 2017.

What is the status of the process? The city council has approved the funding of the new library. Next is construction bids then ground breaking.

Why don’t we spend the money on roads instead? The new library will be paid for with a 20-year bond. The bond payment will be between $400,000-$500,00 per year. Presently the city of Aberdeen spends over $7 million PER YEAR on our roads. We can get a brand new, $8 million library in one year.

Will my taxes go up? No, the new library will be paid for with money earned from sales tax revenue. This revenue funds a major portion of Aberdeen’s improvements each year and the bond payment of $400,000+ will come out of this fund. The YMCA will be paid off and the amount for the bond payment for that will be reallocated to the new library. Funds will not be taken away from any other need in our community. No new taxes are required to build this. And even if it isn’t built, no one will receive a tax credit, nor will taxes go down.

Where will the new library be built? Land has already been purchased for the new library. It is located on one entire city block surrounded by Washington Street, 4th Avenue SE, Jay Street and 3rd Avenue SE, directly east of the Federal Building.

How much will the new library cost? The new library is budgeted to cost $8 million. The Foundation will donate $2.1 million towards that to reduce the city’s contribution and to help create a durable, well-designed facility that will serve Aberdeen for generations. The City’s cost is about $5.9 million, the Foundation wanted to ensure an amazing facility so a $2.1 million challenge was added to allow the business and citizens of Aberdeen to help in this effort.

How can I donate to the new Aberdeen Public Library? All forms of financial gifts to the Beyond Books campaign are welcome. This includes cash, real estate, farmland, bonds and stocks. Pick up a pledge form at the library or contact Library Foundation President, Troy McQuillen at 226-3481 to learn about making a gift.

Why can’t we remodel the current library? The basement would have to be rebuilt, the roof replaced, all the windows replaced, all the bathrooms re-engineered, the HVAC would be re-engineered and rebuilt, all the offices moved, all the wiring would be redone, and more space would have to be added. If every single problem was fixed in our new library and every square inch of the basement was utilized, we would potentially attract a lot more people. However, the parking lot can only accommodate about 60 cars, which would once again, limit access to the library, not the point of an improved facility. An adjacent building would need to be purchased for parking. The costs may exceed the $5.9 million the city is currently committing to the project. The new library will have spaces for 100 cars as well as lots of street parking. The total costs associated with a remodel would be extensive, and yet we’d still have to use the basement, which is not an inspiring place to learn, meet, and connect.